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It's as if John Wick is the savant janitor from Good Will Hunting, and
surprisingly, it worked.
What should you expect? It has flashes of John Wick action, but it most certainly isn't an all out action movie, however, it also isn't primarily a drama focusing on his autistic/accounting side of things; I felt they did a really good job of combining both elements into a movie that swings back and forth between the two.
I thought the acting was great all around; I found the plot solid and enjoyable.
Here is the bottom line: Yes, this movie is worth your money to see in the theater.
p.s. I'll be the first to admit I have no idea how autism really affects people and how accurate it is or is not portrayed in this movie; I saw this movie as nothing more than what it is: a fictional story to entertain.
This film connected with me on so many levels. It delivered in ways I was not expecting. I was laughing, cheering, crying, and ultimately walked out of that theater feeling more than satisfied. I want to go see it again. Something that is great about this film is that there are things you will pick up on more clearly through a second viewing, but it is not required to fully enjoy the film. Like I said in my title, I can say without a shadow of doubt that this film is better than any other film released this year. However, I will follow that by saying I have yet to see "Hell or High Water". So it's more like 99.9% sure. We will see how it holds up against the remaining anticipated releases. I do honestly believe it should be nominated come award season. This film is phenomenal and if you do not see this film before you die, you are doing yourself a disservice.
I'm not a Ben Afflick fan but I am a fan of the 3Ds (doom, destruction,
and death) and I thought this was a 3D film. Yes, it is a 3D film, but
it is so much more. In reality the film is about family, and you won't
realize that at first.
The script is so well crafted this film should be used in writing classes. I guarantee you will not know what's coming, and after they hit you, they're going to hit you again, even better. Truly exceptional writing.
The acting is also exceptional. Anna Kendrick, J.K.Simmons, and Jon Bernthal really stand out, and for Bernthal it is a change of pace and he carries it off very well. Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow and Jean Smart do their usual good job.
You should see this film. I've rated nearly 5,000 films and only gave 87 a rating of "10". That's how good I think this film is.
A thriller should be entertaining and smart, both of which The
Accountant is. Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is not Christian in the
traditional sense, but he is a wolf of a hunter, about as accurate as
anyone behind a telescopic gun barrel could be.
Yet he's a brilliant accountant at the same time, thank you, autism: He has a savant's grasp of facts and numbers (think Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man) but a serious deficiency in the affective and communicative categories. Affleck plays him with a grasp of disaffection that is almost humorous, in fact is with some of his straight-arrow responses: "I don't guess," he says when queried if he had a hunch about the perpetrator of a fraud.
You see, he is hired by all kinds of wealthy and criminal business people and governments to uncook their books or whatever is necessary to discover fraud or put the books in order. These jobs lead to situations where he is wanted by bad guys or the IRS or whomever. Wolff's legitimate, current job for a robotics company is complicated enough for him to need several glass walls to write on (think Affleck's buddy Mark Damon in Good Will Hunting), taking in hours what would consume days for a host of professional accountants.
And so it goes according to the thriller formula that the bad guys will be on his trail, and he will be made vulnerable by a cute co-worker, Dana (Anna Kendrick), who has some of his math savvy and maybe a bit of sweet for him. The Accountant veers from formula because that romance is of the "chaste-and-from-afar" kind, almost but not quite at the kiss stage. It's pleasant not to be bothered by heavy sex when the complications are of the cerebral, themselves the core of pleasure in this brainy, but not too, action drama.
Unfortunately our autistic hero, trained by a merciless military father to defend himself because dad knew son would always be treated as different, slips into thriller stereotype, e.g. Christian puts down too many hired guns at one time, albeit in the service of a noble retaliation for a prison friend. Although the action is within the parameters of the genre, it here feels overdone given the cerebral contexts that otherwise provide plenty of thrills.
One of the joys of this film is to see Affleck show some acting chops; he may never be like Dustin Hoffman, but he's memorably stoic here, a long way from J.Lo and Gigli.
Gavin O'Connor, the director of my favorite movie Warrior. Ben Affleck,
the once ridiculed but now stupendous entertainer. J.K. Simmons, the
distinguished actor from Whiplash. Jon Bernthal, the rising star from
The Walking Dead who's a known but yet still unknown actor, and he's
great by the way. John Lithgow, an actor who delivers uncanny
especially when he's the villain. Bill Dubuque, who the hell is this
guy, but he wrote this movie, and this appears to be his first major
project besides Robert Downey Jr's The Judge. I enjoy all of these
people's work one way or another. This movie has a good director, good
leading man, and an all-star cast. From the trailers, this movie seemed
like an intellectual movie about a young boy growing up with mental
problems, the boy grows up and becomes an accountant, through his work
he does business with shady characters, for some reason his clients
want him dead, but we know The Accountant is far more capable of much
more than they know. I was anticipating this movie based on all the
information I just provided. I thought this movie couldn't miss. Is The
Accountant a good movie? The Accountant is a good movie.
The direction of this seems rather simple, but as the story progresses, things become a bit too complicated, and maybe not for the better.
I understood the main story and what was happening. The subplot of the movie is what threw me off. I thought the secondary plot was a bit messy but yet still engaging.
The acting in this movie was excellent. I think Ben Affleck as Christan Wolff is the best character he's ever played. Affleck's performance is both engaging and mesmerizing. Everyone does their job here, but Affleck steals the show.
The violence feels ultra realistic. I love action movies, but none have felt as real as this in a long time. When The Accountant kills people, he kills people, and it's not pretty.
There's a lot of jump cutting that's present here. This movie constantly jumps from the past to the present without warning, but the transitions are fluid.
The execution of the story at times feels tedious due to its consistent jump cutting, multi-layered plot, and abundance of characters.
Each character gets their moment, and everyone plays a part, but it's the coincidence that brings them all together.
I think this movie is trying to be more than what it is, and it succeeds. The Accountant movie has a multi-layered engaging main plot about mental illness in young children and how they cope with their situations. The secondary plot is about The Accountant doing business with the wrong people. There's another plot to this movie with J.K Simmons and his story's compelling, but it lacks conviction.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie. The fight scenes and choreography were breathtaking. The main plot was engaging. Ben Affleck delivered the best performance of his career. Every actor played their part. This movie suffers from sensory overload, but regardless, I believe that it will stimulate not only intellectuals but white-knuckled action junkies as well. The main plot, Ben Affleck, and the violence is ferocious.
Final Grade: A-
I have watched the Jason Bourne sagas for years. James Bond movies have
been a mainstay since I was in my teens. Ben Affleck, as an actor, was
average at best. With that said, I was somewhat skeptical when the
trailers were first released about "The Accountant". My curiosity got
the best of me. So I went to see it at a matinée. IT WAS SO GOOD!!!
Every question raised in this movie was answered by its conclusion. It
was so entertaining and creative. I LOVED IT!! The audience applauded
at the end while the credits rolled.
I had to go see it again, because I missed some nuances. When I saw it the second time, again the audience (a different group) applauded at the end. GREAT MOVIE!!!
I might see it a third time. Can't get too much of a good thing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Christian Wolff (Affleck) has a secret. Behind the cover of an
unassuming CPA office, the otherwise resourceful and bashful math
savant works free-lance for some of the world's most nefarious criminal
enterprises in the world. Yemen, Pakistan, New York, London, no matter
where the man goes, there's simply no balance book too unclean nor any
employer too dangerous for Wolff not to find missing money. Those
recalcitrant enough to think he knows too much, end up at the business
end of an anti-aircraft gun.
Yet this is only part of the story of Christian Wolff, as hinted in the puzzle-piece graphics of the film's brilliant trailer. One thing we get to know almost straight away is Wolff is somewhere on the spectrum. Asperger's, PDD, high-functioning autism; "I prefer not to put a label on things," says Jason Davis's neurologist character as young Chris (Lee) jostles in the background. Convenient; now we can assume Wolff's abilities to uncooked 15 years of books in a single afternoon, kill an assailant with a J. Crew bridle belt and find the works of Jackson Pollock stimulating are all functions of his un- categorized disorder.
Now in fairness to the film, Hollywood hasn't exactly had a stellar track record when it comes to giving autistic characters moments in the limelight, even when they're being portrayed with a modicum of sympathy or humanity. To give credit where credit is due, The Accountant does a good job differentiating between the attributes of Chris's disorder with the skills he has ascertained through years of tutelage from his roughneck father (Treveiler). As exploitative as the film could have been, I give props to writer Bill Dubuque for not making our entrenched protagonist an autism powered super assassin but rather a gifted assassin who also processes the world differently.
Yet the film also seems to want to add more to the soup adding layers of espionage thriller dramatics, murder mystery reveals and oddly familiar flashbacks which all seem to serve different masters. Much of the film diverts attention between Wolff and blackmailed Treasury analyst Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) who is coaxed by Director King (Simmons) to find the mystery accountant. The buildup in itself is alright but the backlog of reveals and plot-twists culminates in one fifteen minute exposition drop that capsizes the film like throwing a brick at a miniature sailboat.
Meanwhile the mystery afoot in The Accountant involves Wolff's newest freelance job which has him investigating biomedical pioneer Lamar Black (Lithgow) and his company. While initially a mundane audit job, Wolff finds himself in a web of intrigue that ensnares the company's board of directors, a sinister security force and a salaried accountant (Kendrick) who first uncovered the can of worms.
Again, the mystery in itself could have worked if it lent itself more organically to the character. Unfortunately the unexpected Michael Clayton (2007) milieu only made me want to see Wolff's less legitimate work all the more. It'd be one thing if Wolff was a pedestrian CPA with Asperger's, who was suddenly thrust into a plot of corporate intrigue. Yet knowing that the man has a clientele that includes terrorists, drug cartels, the mob and a suspiciously quaint melon farmer, I kept expecting bigger fish to come swimming up.
Overall, The Accountant is a skillfully done semi-decent thriller that could have done infinitely better if it defined what it was early and kept its focus. Is it a cerebral mystery, a ballsy action flick, a family drama, a cautionary tale, a morality play, an excuse to commend Ben Affleck's range; certainly it can be all. But sadly it settles for being a knower of all and a master of none.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this silly convoluted tale that seems to take place in a vacuum
somewhere in Illinois Ben Affleck's stilted acting abilities find a
home as an adult savant with autism. As Ben belts out his monotone
performance we are treated to some major heat and flash of copious
violence, ancillary padding and remarkable coincidence before it is all
put to rest with a touching reunion mid- massacre.
Christian Wolfe (Affleck) is a brilliant numbers guy who has cooked the books for some heavy hitters throughout the world. He has become enormously wealthy (Renoir and a Pollock adorn his Airstream) but all the money in the world cannot normalize his ability to communicate with humans. With the Treasury Department chasing him for evasion he takes on a legitimate payday with a Fortune 500 like company but they are knee deep in a multi-million dollar skimming scheme and Christian has to revert to his other specialties to win the day.
As Terminator with a CPA, Affleck's wooden Wolfe lacks the Austrian accent but remains Arnold like in an All-American way. Besides being brilliant around spread sheets he is also a superb shot with all types of weapons as well as a karate kid, not bad for a child with a handicap.
The most amazing thing about Christian though is his ability to hide in plain sight while he wipes out poorly shaven baddies with computer game efficiency while Treasury agents sit around and wax nostalgic about their imperfect pasts.
Director Gavin O'Connor directs with a heavy hand as scenes sink into bathos, his entire cast, save for when there is action, looking fatigued. Building his story like a sloppy sandwich you won't be able to fit into your mouth with banal subplots he attempts to give the film an emotional pull through flashback but the story stretches credulity constantly while the abysmal climax of discovery and gore is so dreadfully paced, the surprises along the way anything but, While it does have its books in order for a sequel the Accountant, nevertheless, goes bankrupt in no time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie has a lot of flaws. The script is rambling, the sequencing
not coherent, the portrayal of autism stereotypical and, worst of all,
it has Anna Kendrick in it.
Affleck does his best to portray the 'dead on the inside' accountant who just wants to feel and be loved. But, the messy story line and the altogether silly arc of the narrative left me thinking 'Just another bad movie you're in Ben...ya need to stop and think really hard before you agree to the next project'. Because, from his (let's say) 'crowning achievement' of Argo (which left me 'Eh!' for the record), Affleck has slowly slid down into roles that any guy over six feet tall and broad at the beam could have played. It would be churlish to say that, like his old chum, Matt Damon, Affleck is trying too hard to be part of a franchise action series like the 'Bourne' movies. (Though, 'The Accountant' left us in no doubt, like Arnie, he'll 'be back'). Nevertheless, this is just another pot-boiler action movie along the lines of so many others that take up space at the cinema and, unsurprisingly, do very well there too. So, 2017...book your seats for 'The Accountant 2...Payback'.
There is a well honed cast of supporting actors here. JK Simmons is good, though not great and must have choked on some of the lines he had to say. John Lithgow earned his keep (though from scene 1 he appeared in, we knew he was the bad guy...pantomime boo hiss). Cynthia Addai-Robinson tries really hard to be convincing in her role as a put upon special agent though, she fails. And the great Jeffrey Tambor is on screen for too little time to value the appearance and contribution of such a fine actor in this rambling story. Where it all really does fall apart is when Ana Kendrick appears on screen. Seriously? You expect us to take her seriously? For sure there are a lot of actors appearing in movies who got there by luck and not by talent but, she can't act. She can't do it. I mean, look...she cannot act! Now, before anybody goes haywire at me for praising some male actors here and appearing derogatory to the two female characters in this movie, I should add...Cynthia Addai-Robinson was great, I mean really great, in Luc Besson's/Olivier Megaton's 'Colombiana' a few years back. She did a really fine job in that movie. But, Anna Kendrick? Jeez, she stank in 'Up In The Air' (playing the same character as in this movie); she stank in '50/50' (playing the same character as in this movie); she stank in the truly awful 'Mr. Right' (playing the same character as in this movie) and she is currently involved in 'Pitch Perfect 3' (God help us all) which we all know will stink to high Heaven. In short, she's the luckiest, most talent-less actor out there right now. For one, I have no idea how she got there.
But, to finish on the only noteworthy thing in this movie. Jon Bernthal. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the presence of a film star. Even though a lot of what he had to do was clichéd nonsense (the good guy/bad guy gangster type), he did it all with absolute conviction. This meant that his performance was, by far, the only credible character in the whole powder-puff that is 'The Accountant'. (Immediate disclaimer - the incongruous and plain silly ending he had to cough the last lines out of remains just that, incongruous and plain silly). But, he's a genuine star and I hope to see much more of him in better movies than this.
All in all, 2 hours passed. 4 out of 10
Yesterday I went to watch the Accountant movie. After watch the movie I
felt a strong relation with another movie, Warrior (another movie that
I really enjoyed). When I came back to my house, with a small research
I saw that the director of both movies was the same, Gavin O'Connor.
Now, I feel that I watched 2 movies with different histories but with
the same essence. I really enjoyed this movie. It worth every penny.
Ben Affleck did very well on this movie. Other actors too. Well done production.
The action scenes were really well done and the Barrett .50 sound is amazing. I love that weapon.
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